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Tiyon Evans enters transfer portal

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

In a move seemingly out of left field, Tennessee running back Tiyon Evans has opted to enter the transfer portal. The move comes with just one regular season game remaining — Vanderbilt on Saturday evening.

Evans made the announcement via this post on Twitter.

“First of all I wanna thank the Lord above for blessing me with the ability to do what I love to do.

“Secondly, to the vol nation I thank each and everyone for the undying support that you give, that itself will last with me forever.

“I wanna thank Coach Heupel and his staff for giving me a chance here at UT To be a Vol when he got the position and throughout this journey I have made some friendships that will last a lifetime. To all my brothers, Love.

“After praying to god and giving myself time to think on what’s best for me and my family, I’ve decided to enter the transfer portal and weigh my options.”

Evans has been battling injuries since he arrived in the spring. In fact, he missed most of spring practice, and those injury frustrations carried over to the fall. He’s appeared in seven games this season, but has only handled 81 carries. Still, Evans remains as Tennessee’s leading rusher on the season with 525 yards. Jabari Small has also been dealing with a couple of injuries throughout the year.

The JUCO product missed the game against Pittsburgh, and then missed the Ole Miss game later in the year. He handled just one carry against Kentucky, and we never saw him take the field again.

For as good as the Tennessee offense has been this season, the Volunteers were missing an entirely different dimension without Evans on the field. Tennessee was more explosive with him in the game, as evidenced by big plays against Pittsburgh and Missouri. It’s fair to wonder whether or not Tennessee would have lost those games against Ole Miss and Pitt with him available.

All of that to say, this is a big loss — and it’s totally unexpected. Tennessee now has another hole to fill on the roster, and they could do it with Justin Williams, a top 400 running back that the Vols have been working on pretty hard over the last month. Three-star Dylan Sampson is also already committed to the 2022 class.